Ann Jillian leads off today’s classic TV birthday list. The 64 year old Jillian guested on 1960s classics Leave it To Beaver and The Twilight Zone, then joined the cast of Hazel in its final season. She later starred in a pair of sitcoms: It’s A Living and the self-titled Ann Jillian.
Other January 29 birthdays: Canadian actor Marc Singer is 66 (guested on Barnaby Jones and Hawaii Five, starred on V) and Tom Selleck is 69. Selleck appeared on such classics as Charlie’s Angels, The F.B.I., Lancer and Marcus Welby M.D. He achieved his greatest fame as Magnum P.I. and currently stars on the CBS crime drama Blue Bloods.
Also marking a birthday is film and TV star Katherine Ross (74). She guested on shows like Ben Casey, The Virginian and The Wild Wild West, later becoming a series regular on the Dynasty spinoff The Colbys. Ross had breakout movie roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Graduate.
Classic TV stars born January 29 but no longer with us include John Forsythe. He appeared on such shows as Lights Out, Studio One, Suspense and The Love Boat, plus starred in a number of sitcoms (Bachelor Father, The John Forsythe Show, To Rome with Love). Forsythe was later seen but not heard as the voice of Charlie on Charlie’s Angels, then as the patriarch of the Carrington family on Dynasty.
Also born this day: Anthony George (Dark Shadows, One Life To Live, Search for Tomorrow, The Untouchables), British actor Noel Harrison (guested on Ironside, Love American Style, Mission: Impossible, starred on The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.) and Ed Shaughnessy (long time drummer on The Tonight Show).
Celebrities passing away on January 29 include Freddie Prinze (Chico and the Man), Leif Erickson (The High Chaparral) and Jimmy Durante. The actor-comedian was well-known for his gravelly voice and big nose…he called it his schnozzola.
Jimmy Durante guested on Make Room for Daddy and numerous variety shows (The Andy Williams Show, The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour). He also headlined The Jimmy Durante Show in the 1950s and Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters in 1969-70. One of his most enduring roles is as the narrator of the perennial Christmas special Frosty The Snowman.